Several days ago, a man in New York broke up a fight. For reasons that are not entirely clear, when police showed up on the scene, they targeted this man, Eric Garner, for arrest. Mr. Garner, who was 6'4" and 350 pounds, was restrained by multiple Jack-Booted Thugs, placed in a choke hold, and killed via the choke.
Time Magazine article on the incident.
Gracie Breakdown on the incident. The Gracie brothers (Rener & Ryron) state they do not feel the choke caused the death. There are many others who feel Mr. Garner died because of being overweight, and I think Rener and Ryron fall into this camp.
Interestingly, Rener clearly states that the crushing of the trachea can lead to inability to breathe normally - which could result in death. Rener goes on to state that the autopsy clearly indicated that the trachea was not damaged. However, at this time, such information on the autopsy is not available. All we are being told is that the autopsy is "inconclusive." So, with all due respect to Mr. Gracie, that statement is speculation and assumptive at best. If/when more information becomes available, this blog post shall be duly updated.
Coincidentally, ABC News reports that NYPD rules prohibit the use of any sort of choke hold for restraint of suspects.
It is my opinion that Mr. Garner's trachea was crushed: based on what I heard him saying "I can't breathe!" and how it sounded from the video.
It is also my opinion that every officer who was present should be tried and found guilty of murder. The officers applying force for their direct role; and the officers that were there, but not directly applying force, for being accomplices.
As of today - 8/1/2014 - the autopsy results have been released. Mr. Garner's death was because of the choke hold. Mr. Garner's weight, asthma, and heart disease were deemed "contributing factors."
Another article on it.
I deeply regret having ever taught any LEO any sort of choke hold - proper technique or not. I shall never knowingly do so again.